Product Type: Ikea Art / Craft
Newest Review: ... having much space in the home we were in at the time and it still looks as good as new, after a bit of a clean - it had not been damaged ... more
Lots of drawings!
Ikea Mala Easel
Member Name: bush1
Ikea Mala Easel
Advantages: folds flat, shelf for chalks, space for roll of paper
Disadvantages: whiteboard not magnetic
I wanted to get an easel for my daughter for Christmas as she enjoys drawing on things a lot and I wanted an outlet for her creativity which she could access at any time. I was initially reluctant to buy one as they seemed to be very expensive and I couldn't justify spending £40 on one for her. When I was in Ikea with my husband, we spotted these and decided to get one of these as they were such good value in comparison!
---About the product:
The Mala Easel from Ikea is a wooden framed easel with a chalkboard (blackboard) on one side and a dryboard (whiteboard) on the other. It has a shelf that can hold the chalks or whiteboard pens which has a border around it so that the chalks and pens don't fall off. There is also a length of wood that can be removed so that you can add a roll of paper which can be passed over the top of the board so you can use it for paints or felts. The size of the board when stood up 43cm length, 62cm width and 118cm height.
---Using the easel:
The easel comes flat packed in a plastic wrap which can be easily cut off. It only takes a couple of minutes to set up and slots together easily. The chalk holder holds the legs together and then a roll of paper can be added on the wooden rod which is also in the middle of the legs. The easel is now ready for use. We bought chalks and whiteboard pens from Ikea to go with this set and both go on and come off the board easily.
My daughter was very excited when she opened this. Like everything else it is recommended for children aged 3 and over but my daughter is 2 and a half and is perfectly capable of using it. She got the chalks out and happily started drawing on the blackboard. We didn't buy a rubber for the board though, but we found that a tissue or wet wipes worked well instead. The same is true for the whiteboard.
My daughter has had countless hours drawing her masterpieces on the board. She loves to get me to draw pictures for her as well and we have lots of fun drawing and wiping them off again. She is a bit too small to reach the top of the board, but with the use of a step she is easily able to reach the top. The only thing about this one being a wooden easel as opposed to the plastic ones is that when my daughter draws on the sides, it does not rub off easily (or in fact at all...). I think it is hard for her to understand that she can draw on pasrt of it, but not the sides so maybe that is where the age limit is a good idea.
I think an easel is a great 'toy' for children as it encourages them to be creative and imaginative without the need for copius reams of paper. It helps to teach colours, shapes - whatever you can draw! And it is fun for children and adults alike. The only other difference between this and some others I have looked at (except it is wooden framed) is that the whiteboard is not magnetic as well. This would have been a great addition to the easel as my daughter loves playing with magnets, but I was unwilling to pay double the price for this when the fridge will do for the magnets.
Overall I would recommend this product as it can fold flat for easy storage and at £15.99 is a bargain.
Summary: Excellent product for a great price